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CFA Institute Launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession in the UK

DEI Code signatories to commit to six defining principles to accelerate change

London, United Kingdom 11 Oct 2023

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, today launched the UK edition of its comprehensive voluntary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession (“DEI Code”).

The DEI Code is available to investment organisations in the UK of any size who seek to accelerate change by fostering a commitment to DEI.

“CFA Institute is seeking to build a more representative and resilient industry, and we recognize that far more needs to be done across all aspects of DEI,” said Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute. “We started with our DEI Code in the US and Canada, and our UK initiative is in recognition that DEI means different things to different people in different markets. I am proud to note that CFA Institute hereby becomes the first signatory to the UK edition of the DEI Code. I want to thank all members of the Working Group that were involved in the Code’s development for their dedication and commitment to this effort.”

Signatory firms commit to six metrics-based principles intended to enable the greater inclusion of wider viewpoints from the best talent, in turn leading to better investment outcomes, better working environments, and a cycle of positive change for future generations.

The six principles are:

  • Pipeline: Expanding the diverse talent pipeline.
  • Talent Acquisition: Designing, implementing, and maintaining inclusive and equitable hiring and onboarding practices.
  • Promotion and Retention: Designing, implementing, and maintaining inclusive and equitable promotion and retention practices to reduce barriers to progress.
  • Leadership: Using our position and voice to promote DEI and improve DEI outcomes in the investment industry. We will hold ourselves responsible for our firm’s progress.
  • Influence: Using our role, position, and voice to promote and increase measurable DEI results in the investment industry.
  • Measurement: Measuring and reporting on our progress in driving better DEI results within our firm. We will provide regular reporting on our firm’s DEI metrics to our senior management, our board, and CFA Institute.

Sarah Maynard, ASIP, Global Senior Head, External Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, CFA Institute comments:

“The UK DEI Code has been designed so organisations can frame complex behavioural issues as they build on their efforts to address DEI challenges present within the investment industry. It incorporates UK variations in demographics, culture, and societal norms and offers a structure that supports employers, DEI leaders, and HR professionals in building impactful and measurable DEI strategies.”

“In becoming signatories of the Code organisations are not only expressing their public commitment to systemic change, but they are committing to robust annual reporting of their DEI efforts.

UK DEI Code launches as North America DEI Code passes 160+ signatories

The UK DEI Code follows the successful introduction of a DEI Code in the United States and Canada last year. The Code has been adopted by more than 160 investment organisations to date, representing around US$18.3 trillion in assets under management (AUM) – some 19 per cent of the investment industry’s AUM globally*.

To devise the UK DEI Code, CFA Institute worked with CFA Society UK and a DEI Code (UK) Working Group drawn from UK-based investment and DEI leaders in the UK and chaired by Lindsey Stewart, CFA, Director of Investment Stewardship Research at Morningstar. The Working Group has built on the strong foundation set by the DEI Code in North America and adapted it for the DEI challenges and opportunities specific to the UK.

Lindsey Stewart, CFA, comments:

“In the Working Group we’ve given a lot of thought to encouraging signatories to raise their ambitions on DEI, but without introducing a long list of prescriptive requirements. The Code is designed to be scalable across a range of organisation sizes and structures, and most importantly, emphasises how important it is for signatories to demonstrate progress over time. The aim is cultural change, not tick-box compliance.”

“My sincere thanks go to the entire Group for their determined efforts in getting the Code to this stage, and for bringing a wide range of perspectives and experience to our conversations on how to develop truly inclusive cultures in the investment management industry.”

Will Goodhart, Chief Executive of CFA Society UK comments:

“As a professional body, our role is to make sure that investment professionals are technically and ethically competent to work on their clients’ behalf. Investment firms share this ambition and our DEI Code will help us work together to build and develop inclusive cultures across the investment sector. We’re delighted to work with CFA Institute on this important initiative and look forward to working with DEI Code signatories.”

Reporting requirements for signatories

DEI Code signatories will provide a confidential, annual progress report to CFA Institute using an accompanying Reporting Framework. In turn, CFA Institute will report on industry-level statistics once a critical mass of signatories is reached. Signatory organisations must meet the following foundational reporting requirements within two years of becoming a DEI Code signatory:

  • An established senior leader ownership and oversight governance process.
  • Formal, written, publicly available communications outlining the organisation’s DEI strategy, policy, commitments, and high-level objectives.
  • An implementation plan to integrate DEI within the signatory organisation’s people, processes, and policies.

To view the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession (United Kingdom) visit here.

 

For further information, please contact [email protected].

 

Notes to Editors

*Value of global assets under management cited as a percentage of US$98 trillion in The Tide Has Turned Global Asset Management 2023 report, BCG. DEI Code signatory assets under management and assets under advisement are self-reported at the point of becoming a DEI Code signatory.

Detailed Implementation Guidance for the DEI Code is available here. The UK Reporting Framework is available here

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are nearly 200,000 CFA® charterholders worldwide in more than 160 markets. CFA Institute has ten offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @CFAInstitute.

 

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